CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s telecoms regulator has approved revised terms for 4G mobile broadband network licences, and said it will send them out to operators on Sunday.
The government offered four 4G telecom licences in June, to Telecom Egypt and to the country’s three mobile services providers – Orange Egypt, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat – but only Telecom Egypt accepted the terms. The regulator, keen to prioritise existing carriers, decided to revise them.
A senior official at the Telecommunications Ministry told Reuters on Wednesday that the revised terms include additional frequencies but there is no change in the pricing or the condition that 50 percent of the payment for the licences must be made in U.S. dollars.
“The telecom regulator approved the final terms of the 4G licences yesterday,” the official said, adding that companies would have until midday on Sept. 22 to accept them.
The National Telecom Regulatory Authority later issued a statement confirming it approved the final terms and that the companies had until Sept. 22 to accept.
The government, which is grappling with a shortage of hard currency as economic and political turmoil in Egypt in the past few years has deterred foreign investment, has said it hopes to raise 22.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.5 bln) in total in licence fees.
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Ola Noureldin; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Susan Fenton)